Financing a podcast isn’t easy. The lay person may say, why do you need financing for your podcast? Don’t you just click a button and talk in your living room? While it is true that technology has given us incredible flexibility to make and distribute great forms of entertainment like podcasts, the fact of the matter is nothing in life is free. 


A podcast may be free for fans to download, but there are many costs that go into producing one. This includes equipment, like microphones and recording equipment, and hosting. It is also time consuming to produce, record, edit, and prepare for a podcast. With this much cost on a financial and opportunity level, it’s natural that even the podcast hobbyist look for a way to subsidize their show. 


For some, especially the entrepreneurial minded, selling advertising on their podcast is the best way to generate revenue. This is a tried and true method of supporting any broadcast performance, be it traditional radio or television. Here’s the problem: selling advertising sucks. It’s awkward, requires an aggressiveness that not everyone has, and comes with lots and lots of rejection. That’s not for everyone. 


Some don’t like selling advertising for moral reasons. Do you actually use the products you’re endorsing? Do you want to sell something you don’t believe in to your listeners? Or do you simply not want to bog your show down with advertisements? Another thing to consider: you will probably have a really hard time selling advertisements right out of the gate, no matter if you’re good at sales or not. The fact of the matter is, without a demonstrated audience over a long period, you’ll be hard pressed to get anyone to invest in your show. 


Here’s an alternative way to fund your show: have you considered Patreon? This platform, and others like it, offer an alternative way to crowd fund. Instead of freebies, Patreon backers act as the patrons of old. When you publish content, Patreon backers pledge so much per show that they donate, or per month, as a way of paying you for the entertainment you provide them. Backers choose how much they donate. 


What many successful Patreon users do is offer perks for contributing, like special episodes. They also offer live chats, and freebies. Custom t-shirts with your podcast’s logo are perfect for this sort of arrangement. You can offer a cheap custom tee you made at WhoopTee as a reward for becoming a monthly or per episode backer. The choice is yours. It really amounts to making the dollars and cents work out. You can order your t-shirts in bulk and keep the colors to a minimum to cut costs, and set a donation threshold that would make it worthwhile for you to send a t-shirt to a backer. This is a great way not only to raise funds, but to interact with your audience.

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